Multiday Tramping

Exploring the wilderness of New Zealand on foot is immensely rewarding and is something that three-quarters of a million people do each year. However, it comes with some unique challenges. Our landscape is rugged, steep, remote and often covered in dense bush or is exposed to wild weather patterns. The weather can be notoriously fickle and changes can occur very quickly. Don’t be surprised if you’re caught in a storm in the middle of summer, especially if your intended journey takes you above 1000m altitude.

Watch how to pack for a tramp


Choose your track 

Tracks here can differ dramatically and will require different levels of fitness, equipment and planning. It's important to recognise that the perceived risk of a day walk can be very low, where as the potential risk can be surprisingly high.

  • Consider your ability, skills and fitness of everyone in your group
  • Think about how long it will take you
  • How will you get there?
  • How will help find you if something goes wrong? Will there be cellphone signal?
  • What is the terrain like? Will there be rivers/bridges?

You can find out more about how to choose a track on our Trip Planning Section of our website. Excellent sources for local track information are DOC Visitor Centres and I-sites.

Our Tramping Video Series is an excellent place to observe the possible conditions and obstacles you can expect on a classic NZ track. Watch the promo video below.

Prepare for your tramp

The remoteness of many of New Zealand's tracks means you can't rely on your cellphone if you need help. It's up to you to make smart decisions and tell someone your plans before you head out. That way if you're not back when you expected to be, someone can send out a call for help on your behalf. It doesn't take a big injury to slow you or your group down considerably and there are plenty of people who've got lost at a track junction. If you do have an 'incident' in the outdoors and you end up spending an unexpected night out, the temperature can drop dramatically and its often damp as well. You'll be thankful you planned accordingly. Plan as a group and stay together as a group.

Take the basics to keep you comfortable and safe

What you take with you will make all the difference if something were to go wrong such as getting lost, delayed or injured.

Multiday Tramping Essentials:
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Headtorch
  • Emergency Communications Device (Beacon)
  • Warm Clothing (Not Cotton)
  • Hat and Gloves
  • Sturdy Footwear
  • Water and Food
  • Emergency Shelter
  • First Aid Kit
  • Map and Compass or GPS
  • Packliner + Pack
  • Sun protection
  • Whistle
  • Walking Poles
  • Cooker, Fuel, Utensils
  • Toiletries and personal medication
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Tent
  • Hut / Campsite Booking

pdf Basic Gear List for outdoors pdf – 207 KB

or you can find more on our Supplies section.

On your tramp

  • Be aware of the weather - you can learn how to do this on our weather page
  • Take regular breaks - use this time to check in on your group and have a snack + drink
  • Stick together - wait for each other at track junctions and communicate along the way
  • Check in on your surroundings - check the map, know where you are along the way
  • Check the time - are you running late? When will it get dark? Consider turning back. 

What to do next

Continue your preparation with our online resources, there is still plenty to learn to ensure for a safe and enjoyable trip!

Explore our resources

  • Plan My Walk app | Use our free planning tool to choose tracks, get alerts, build a gear list and share your plan with others before you go.
  • Tramp like a pro Etool | Here you can learn essential tramping skills
  • Get the skills | in Navigation, River Safety and more essentials in our Skills Section
  • Read our manuals | Access the NZ Bushcraft Manual and other digitised resources here
  • Watch our how-to videos | Learn how to pack for a Tramp and many more useful tips
  • Tramping Activity Guide | Read our online guidebook to learn how to plan